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esxi 4 pnic configuration

Posted on 2010-11-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I am setting up a vcenter 4.1 with virtual distributed switch.  I am wondering how to allocate my physical nics.  I have 4 hosts with 4 pnics each.  Can I use 2 for management and vm network traffic and then 2 for ISCSI and VMotion traffic.  Suggestions?
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Question by:Steely
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15 Comments
 
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 34242421
Hi

For only 4 VMs I don't think that you need to separate or NICs.

If you want you can use one NIC for vmkernel. For vMotion, but the rest I don't think that you need to change that.

Just create a vSwitch with 3 NICs and use that for VM Network and also for Service Console.

Enable the teaming and loadbalancing for all that NICs inside of that vSwitch.

Hope this can help you

Jail
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Author Comment

by:Steely
ID: 34242446
I have 4 hosts not VM s .   I am using a SAN with Vcenter.  I am running esxi so there is no service console.  
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 34242495
Hi

Yes but 4 NICs for each host right? So the config is the same.

Regarding the SC, if you have ESXi, even better, just use one for vmkernel.

You are using SAN with FCs right? So dont need to use any NIC for that.

Jail
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Author Comment

by:Steely
ID: 34242517
Actually ISCSI SAN so i do need to use nics.  I want to use 2 for this.  The question is, can I use the same 2 nics for vmotion?
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Deepak Kosaraju
ID: 34243343
Its always recommended to use separate vmkernel portgroup from vmotion and iscsi traffic. so assign 2 nics separate for each,  but best practice is to have redundancy nics either configured to Load balance (or) failover if one nic fails u have another nice that takes care of it.
You can have 2 distribution switch 1 for vmotion and 1 for SAN ISCSI each having its own vmkernel portgroups. That's the best practice I heard in-order to isolate your traffics.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Deepak Kosaraju
ID: 34243358
In your scenarios as I am not aware of how many vm's you are planning to deploy, I recommend to go with 2 distribution switches each handling vmotion and storage traffic of all 4 hosts.
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Author Comment

by:Steely
ID: 34243641
So in other words, use one dvs for vmotion and iscsi traffic.  Use another dvs for vm traffic and management traffic.  Give each dvs 2 nics with load balance and failover.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Deepak Kosaraju
ID: 34243716
I would combine management traffic with vmotion as I don't always do vmotion(provided if I don't have DRS,HA feature for my ESXi version) and looking at management traffic it shouldn't be much as we are not taking about service console here - all under 1 NDvs with 2 nic's for Load balancing. And out of 2 other nic's I can have dedicated nic for iSCSI connected to a separate NDVs and 1 dedicated nic for prod traffic assigned to another separate NDvs.

So I am talking about 3 NDvs managed for all 4 ESXi Hosts.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Deepak Kosaraju
ID: 34243742
Sorry my bad if u have NDvs feature you should probably using Ent Plus License of ESxi so you should have DRS and HA,FT all features that you can use so plan up accordingly.
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Author Comment

by:Steely
ID: 34243759
Yes I have enterprise plus.  So do like your previous post suggested?
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LVL 14

Accepted Solution

by:
Deepak Kosaraju earned 2000 total points
ID: 34243846
How many clusters are you planning to configure? All best practices are for to start the journey: you should be good with 3 NDVs across all 4 ESXi host
1st NDVs - Having 2 nic's Load Balanced for vmotion & Management network
2nd NDVs - Having 1 nic for ISCIS SAN Traffic.
3rd NDVs - Having 1 nic for VM Traffic(Prod).

As you go, you might have to shuffle your setting as per the performance with in the environment. I would start with above... It varies from person-to-person opinion on how we setup the environment, I always follow the best practices with respect to the considerations of my workload.
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Author Comment

by:Steely
ID: 34243868
So I could upgrade some nics from dual to quad.  Then I could have 6 at minimum.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Deepak Kosaraju
ID: 34243917
That would be best so u can setup redundant nic's(stand-by fail-over) for each traffic, if you have option to do so and your operations team approves please go-ahead.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Steely
ID: 34244233
Very good info.  Good responses.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Deepak Kosaraju
ID: 34244376
Glad to help another Expert in EE.
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